Ben and Jerry’s founder Ben Cohen was arrested Thursday by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) police for blocking the entrance to the Department of Justice (DOJ) building in Washington, D.C., where he was protesting against the arrest of Julian Assange.
Assange is currently held in Belmarsh Prison in London and may soon be extradited to the US
Footage from the scene showed Cohen sitting next to a woman holding a “Free Assange” sign, while police and security personnel stood nearby. Later images posted by the Associated Press showed Cohen being taken away in handcuffs by DHS agents.
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Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, is arrested on July 6, 2023 outside the Justice Department in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Fox News Digital reached out to DHS for comment, but received no response.
Cohen, an ice cream man turned political activist, said after being spotted with the DOJ that his presence had nothing to do with Ben and Jerry’s recent controversies over Israel and Palestine, nor recent statements about the US existing on “stolen” land.
“It’s outrageous. Julian Assange is non-violent. He’s supposed to be innocent. And yet somehow he’s been in solitary confinement for four years. That’s torture. He revealed the truth, and for that he suffers, and that we must do what we can to help him and to help preserve democracy, which is based on freedom of the press,” Cohen said at the demonstration, according to CODEPINK, a left-wing activist organization.
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As a pink smoke bomb clouds the sky, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, refuses to leave an entrance outside the Justice Department before being arrested on July 6, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Cohen was previously arrested for disorderly conduct at another Vermont protest in 2018 when he spoke out against jet noise from Vermont Air National Guard aircraft.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter at Fox News Digital covering national politics and major news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.